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The Latest: County to open flooding command center

February 23, 2018

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Latest on Ohio River flooding (all times local):

4:00 p.m.

Authorities along the flooding Ohio River plan to open a command center Saturday.

Clermont County officials say county and local police and fire departments and other emergency officials will set up at the New Richmond Middle School, more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Cincinnati. Ohio transportation authorities, Duke Energy and the Red Cross will also have representatives.

The Red Cross will open a shelter Saturday afternoon at the New Richmond High School, and the Tri-County Animal Response Team is working on opening a pet shelter.

Authorities are urging households to have an evacuation plan, as forecasters expect the river to hit its highest level in more than two decades.

New Richmond’s village council earlier declared a state of emergency.

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11:40 a.m.

A southern Ohio’s village council as declared a state of emergency as the Ohio River climbs toward its highest level in more than 20 years.

The New Richmond Village Council has issued the proclamation telling the some 2,600 residents to comply with any instructions from emergency personnel. Mayor Ramona Carr urges residents to secure property, plan living arrangements for themselves and pets and pay close attention to forecasts. The village is more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Cincinnati.

The National Weather Service expects rainfall this weekend to push the Ohio to 59.4 feet (18.11 meters) by Tuesday.

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8:45 a.m.

Flooding is swamping more roadways along the Ohio River as forecasters expect the river to reach levels not seen since the region’s deadly 1997 floods.

The National Weather Service says the river topped 56 feet (17.07 meters) early Friday in the Cincinnati area, 4 feet (1.22 meters) above flood stage. Forecasters expect it to reach 59.4 feet (18.11 meters) by Tuesday morning. That would be the highest since 64.7 feet (19.72 meters) during 1997 floods that claimed more than two dozen lives, mostly in Kentucky.

Friday morning commutes were slowed by accidents and closed roadways that forced detours.

Forecaster Kristen Cassady says multiple factors are contributing, starting with steady rains continuing through Saturday night. Cold ground and lack of vegetation this time of year don’t allow soaking up much water.

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